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Judging Java: Google and Oracle go to court

week in review Patent and copyright trial begins, while Microsoft makes Windows 8 names official. Also: Zuckerberg solos on Instagram acquisition.

week in review Oracle's Java patent and copyright lawsuit against Google and its Android mobile operating system kicked off this week with some familiar faces taking the witness stand.

Oracle attorney David Boies began his arguments by focusing on a particular presentation on July 25, 2005, listing "Must take license from Sun" as one of the bullet points of the agenda. Google CEO Larry Page, who testified via his video deposition, was essentially questioned about whether this presentation was written and led by Andy Rubin, senior vice president of mobile at Google (aka the father of Android), and his team.
•  APIs take center stage at Oracle-Google trial
•  Larry Page practices the art of evasion in court

The next witness called by Oracle was its CEO, Larry Ellison, who defended taking the legal action against Google. "People could copy our software and create cheap knockoffs of our products, we wouldn't get paid for our engineering and wouldn't be able to invest what we invest."

When asked by Google's lead attorney, Robert Van Nest, if the Java language is free, Ellison was slow to respond. When directed to answer by William Alsup, Ellison said, "I don't know."

Java is free, but it also has a set of licenses that are required for specific use cases. Google maintains that Android's 15 million lines of code only contain parts of Java that were freely available in the public domain.

At times this week, the trial setting seemed more like a computer science classroom than a courtroom, with witnesses explaining the inner workings of Java and APIs. But this handy guide helps explain the ties between Android and Java -- and the history leading up to the case.
•  How Oracle makes sense of Java
•  Google: Oracle, Sun blew it on a Java smartphone
•  Complete coverage

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